The Voice Recap: Bad-News Bearers [Updated]

adriana louiseI’m pretty sure we didn’t see the eventual champion of The Voice‘s third season on Night 2 of the Blind Auditions, but with a 5-to-1 success-to-failure ratio and no awkward interludes with social-media correspondent Christina Millian, it was easy to feel like some kind of larger victory had been won.

The judges’ jaunty banter helped buoy the hour. We had Christina’s plea to pretty pop singer Adriana Louise that the two were made for each other, and Blake teasing it was “the fifth time she’s said that today.” We had Blake complimenting geeky cutie Mackenzie Bourg that he loved the Harry Potter in him. And there was Mr. Shelton again, shouting “jackass!” at Cee Lo when the latter mentor turned his chair around to compete for Mariachi singer Julio Cesar Castillo.

Actually, maybe I should just credit Blake’s jaunty banter for helping to buoy the hour.

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Not as compelling? The way the producers seemed to demand that all five singers who advanced to the Battle Rounds answer the question “What’s the worst thing that ever happened to you?” before they’d promise ’em any airtime. At the end of the day, I care far less about whose jaw was wired shut, who tore their meniscus, and whose dad has epilepsy than who can actually sing with charisma and solid pitch. It can’t be just me, can it?

In any event, let’s get to the business of ranking the Night 2 blind auditions, and then placing the five singers headed to the battle rounds in the context of the overall season.

5) Casey Muessigman’s “Sweet Home Alabama” (Team Blake) | A perfectly acceptable — but far from scintillating — rendition of Lynyrd Skynyrd’s southern-rock anthem, but I can’t shake the feeling Blake chose him merely as Battle Rounds cannon fodder, especially given the former wrestler’s unironic self-booty-slapping.

4) Julio Cesar Castillo’s “La Bamba” (Team Blake) | Julio seemed like a nice kid with a nice singing voice, but honestly, I’m not sure I’d have looked up from my flautas if he’d broken out this number during a restaurant shift with his Mariachi band.

3) Aquile’s “Your Song” (Team Xtina) | The opening half of “Your Song” was decidedly Elton’s Song, given how few liberties Aquile took with it. That said, he’s got a really smooth tone and the kind of good looks that had Xtina uncomfortably asking for a “private concert.” Here’s hoping the “Dirrty” coaches him where it counts.

2) Mackenzie Bourg’s “Pumped Up Kicks” (Team Cee Lo) | Cee Lo may have been the only judge to turn around for the Potter-meets-Bieber teen who survived a scary bout of viral myocarditis, but I liked the little catch in his voice and his low-key stage presence. He’s like Pip 2.0, without the bowties and annoying affectations.

1) Adriana Louise’s “Domino” (Team Xtina) | I could’ve lived without the pre-performance “my family endured a horrific robbery/kidnapping attempt at age 9” backstory — honestly, what did it have to do with the price of beans in Boston? — but Adriana brought a confidence and sass to the stage that more than made up for her overreliance on mid-phrase “Whooos!”

13) Casey Muessigman’s “Sweet Home Alabama” (Team Blake)
12) Joe Kirkland’s “Gives You Hell” (Team Adam)
11) Daniel Rosa’s “Somebody That I Used to Know” (Team Cee Lo)
10) Julio Caesar Castillo’s “La Bamba” (Team Blake)
9) Devyn Deloera’s “Ain’t No Other Man” (Team Xtina)
8) Aquile’s “Your Song (Team Xtina)
7) Mackenzie Bourg’s “Pumped Up Kicks” (Team Cee Lo)
6) Trevin Hunte’s “Listen” (Team Cee Lo)
5) Adriana Louise’s “Domino” (Team Xtina)
4) Terry McDermott’s “Baba O’Riley” (Team Blake)
3) Gracia Harrison’s “I Want to Be a Cowboy’s Sweetheart” (Team Blake)
2) Bryan Keith’s “It Will Rain” (Team Adam)
1) De’Borah’s “Hey Soul Sister” (Team Xtina)

Who were your favorites from The Voice‘s second episode of Season 3? Were there any moments that made you cringe? Hit the comments with your thoughts!